The mapping method of note taking works especially well when the lecture content is intense. Students can use the mind mapping notes method to organize key points and make it easier to digest of all the information presented to them. Students should use traditional note taking methods along with the mapping notes technique because writing information down twice can help them retain the study material. They can write out the notes first and then create a map for the notes on a separate page. Encourage students to continually practice the mapping method. Note taking by creating maps doesn’t come naturally to everyone in the beginning, so practice is essential.
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The mind mapping method requires students to use their critical thinking skills by creating a logical map that organizes facts, ideas and information. Students write out each fact on paper and use arrows to connect certain facts. For instance the main idea would appear at the top of the page and arrows would be leading to other ideas. For human anatomy students might write the word “Human Body Systems” at the top the page with arrows that lead to each type of body system such as the cardiovascular system, circulatory system, skeletal system, nervous system, reproductive system and all the other systems within the human body. Mapping notes creates a logical sequence of information that all connect together.
The mapping note taking method works well for middle school, high school and college students. Many students retain information better when using the note taking mapping method because it creates a visual picture in the mind. Students are auditory, visual or tactile learners. There are other learning styles, but three main types involve visual perception, listening and taking action.
Viewing information in certain formats is very beneficial for visual learners, but many students learn best when they combine others methods with the mapping method. Note taking and other learning strategies gives students a well-rounded experience. Students also benefit the most by looking at the information while reading it out loud because these actions stimulate both the auditory and visual senses. This makes the mapping note taking method even more effective. Students are most likely to remember information and ideas when they take an active part in their learning.
Writing the notes out also stimulates brain activity, so encourage your students to use the mapping method. Note taking in all forms is an essential study habit that fosters success. Some students find that it’s easier to create their diagram mind mapping notes after they have taken notes in a more traditional form. During a lecture teachers are giving out a lot of information at once, so students should create notes quickly and then create more notes with the mapping note taking method.
Encourage students to use also their mapping notes to create flash cards. This extra step helps make the mind mapping method even more effective. Students are more likely to remember information that they continually read, write and recite in a variety of different ways. Using color coded flashcards for the mind mapping method can help students identify certain subjects or information with specific colors. The colors create extra visual cues to help stimulate memory.
Colors should also be used as an additional tool when using the note taking mapping method. Students can write the phrase at the top of the note in black and then use different colors for the human body systems that connect to the main phrase. The colorful map extends further down the page because students also enter information about each main idea or fact with bullet points underneath each phrase. The note taking mapping method resembles a collage of information. Underlining the most important facts is also vital when creating mind mapping notes.
Overall, the mapping method of note taking works well for the majority of middle school students who take the time to create detailed maps. Students get better at the mapping method of note taking with practice. In time maps naturally look more detailed and elaborate as long as students put effort into their note taking.